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Rising Stars: Meet Glenys Nellist

Today we’d like to introduce you to Glenys Nellist.

Hi Glenys, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi! Thanks so much for featuring me. I live in Dearborn, Michigan, and I’m an ordinary wife, mom, and grandma who writes children’s books. Back in 2010, I had this crazy dream… I would write a picture book and have it published by one of the top five publishers. I can remember waking early each morning, grabbing my notebook and pen, and falling utterly in love with the creative process as I sat down to write. It took me over four years to realize that dream, but I’m now, unbelievably, the author of over thirty books for children. Most of those titles, including my first book, are published by Zonderkidz, a division of HarperCollins Christian, one of the top five publishers. Every day, I have to pinch myself to believe it’s true.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No! It was not a smooth road! Even though I’d fallen in love with that creative process when I first sat down to write, I was only halfway through that first book when I quit. I gave up because I heard a quiet but persistent voice telling me I wasn’t good enough to do it. It’s hard NOT to listen to the voice of discouragement, even if it comes in a whisper. I now know that there’s a term for this condition. It’s called ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and that’s exactly what I was suffering from. I felt like an imposter, someone who wasn’t a real writer, someone who was pretending. Consequently, that first, half-written manuscript sat on a lonely shelf gathering dust for over a year, until one day my husband encouraged me to finish what I’d begun. I sat down, prayed hard, worked hard, and completed the manuscript. If I hadn’t finished that first book, Love Letters from God, it would never have turned into a series, and I wouldn’t now be the author of thirty titles. So, to any other creatives out there who have a half-finished project, believe in yourself. If you’re a Christian, work hard at whatever God made you good at, pray hard and GET IT DONE!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I write mainly for the progressive Christian market, where my goal is to help children find hope and joy in the world. Whether I’m rewriting Bible stories or working on seasonal tittles, I try hard to ensure that my faith-based books paint a picture of a God of love, who reaches out to include ALL persons, NO MATTER WHAT. But not all my titles are faith-based. My ‘Little Mole’ series, published by Beaming Books, whose goal is to help children thrive, contain themes of finding hope, being kind, discovering your gifts and being brave. I’m so blessed to be able to write for children and to hopefully impact little hearts with my words.

What makes you happy?
Being with my grandchildren… because they love me! Walking in the woods… because no matter the season, trees are beautiful!

Writing… because the creative process always takes unexpected turns of its own.

Watching the growth of three baby robins who are being raised in a little nest in my backyard… because it’s FASCINATING!

Thanks so much for chatting with me!

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